Man with a plan: Peter ‘Spike’ Chiappalone says there is nothing for the homeless by the homeless. Photo: Jason South
Peter “Spike” Chiappalone, who found himself homeless at the tender age of 17, wants to start a union for those in the same circumstances.
The son of an abusive alcoholic father and a mentally ill mother Chiappalone turned to heroin to escape the belt-lashings and a fear that his father instilled in him that would “literally make me wet my pants.”
At 49, he has put a 22-year drug addiction behind him and is using the knowledge gained from an arts degree and a community development diploma he completed, remarkably, while living on the streets, to champion the cause of a homeless persons’ union.